The Audit Service Sierra Leone on Saturday 28th May, 2022 held public education on its operations with members of the Regent Street and Wellington PMB Ataya Bases and Wash Car Youths in Freetown. The engagement is part of the pubic education drive by the ASSL to create awareness on the activities of the institution.
The ASSL team was led by Martin Sandy, Communication Officer who explained to the youths the mandates of the Auditor-General with special references to section 119 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the Audit Service Act 2014. He explained that the ASSL has the power to audit all institutions or projects partly or wholly funded by the Government. Martin Sandy also explained about the annual submission of the Auditor General’s report to parliament which states that the Auditor-General shall, within twelve months of the end of the immediately preceding financial year, submit his report to Parliament and shall in that report draw attention to any irregularities in the accounts audited and to any other matter which in his opinion ought to be brought to the notice of Parliament. He highlighted that the ASSL is one of the most credible institutions in the country, as it ensures that the staff exercise their responsibilities without fear or favour in a transparent manner.
Giving a brief background on the ASSL, Mustapha Foday, Editor at the ASSL stated that the Audit Act of 1962 originally established the office as the Audit Department which was later changed to the Auditor-General’s Department. He stated that the rebranding of the Auditor-General’s Department to become a modern-day supreme audit institution led to the establishment of the ASSL as an independent institution in 2004 as a result of the Audit Service Act 1998. The various reports produced by the ASSL were also topic of discussion during the engagement.
The public education attracted high interest and participation from the ataya bases and wash car’ youths, who appreciated the ASSL and commended them for their contributions in reporting the management and use of national revenue and taxpayers’ money. They pointed out that they had been neglected by state institutions as they were considered to be idlers that have nothing to offer to society. They appraised Audit Service approach of targeting them as that made them feel belong. And they further appealed to the ASSL to extend the public education to other parts of the country. Lots of concerns and questions were raised by the members of the ataya bases which were adequately addressed by the ASSL team.